Given the unprecedented situation that we currently find ourselves in, many businesses are grappling with tough decisions and implementing contingencies that they never thought would be necessary.
No business owner wants to shut their doors for even a day, and the economic uncertainty behind COVID-19 can easily cause employers to panic and make ill-informed decisions.
As a company that works closely with businesses of all shapes and sizes in every corner of the globe to achieve brand loyalty and customer retention,Stamp Me Loyalty Solutions offers the following advice to businesses that are currently on hold and in limbo.
1. Reach out to your customers or clients
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As we mentioned in our previous article onhow brick-and-mortar business can survive through the coronavirus, it’s crucial that your existing customers hear from you during this time.
Regular communication and ongoing engagement keeps your business front-of-mind and reminds customers that you have an online presence. Depending on what kind of business you have, this can encourage your customers to shop with you online.
If online shopping isn’t applicable for your particular business, then these communications are simply a way to keep customers in the loop about any notable developments regarding your product offering, service changes or plans to reopen.
2. Keep your employees in the loop
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Your customers aren’t the only ones who appreciate being in the know! As anxious as you may be about the future of your business, don’t forget that your employees are feeling those exact same concerns.
Maintain constant communications with your staff, and let them know of any updates regarding the business’s internal operations – no matter how small or minor. Your employees will feel a lot better if they feel like they know everything that’s going on, and that you’re doing your utmost to keep them financially secure.
Keep a close eye on your government’s job retention schemes, grants and so on, so that you’re aware of any developments that directly affect your employees.
For furloughed workers who are still employed but stuck at home indefinitely due to quarantines and lockdowns, consider creating a “buddy” system within your staff, where employees are paired up to stay in touch with each other via phone and email.
This can make a world of difference to each employee’s mental health and positivity during this difficult time.
3. Maintain communication with your suppliers
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Now that you’ve put a plan in place for maintaining communication with your customers and your staff, it’s time to contact your suppliers. Needless to say, every supplier is a business same as yours, and they will be sharing your anxiety of a slow market.
Reassure them that while things are currently at a standstill, you will continue to do business with them the moment your doors are open again. Keep them up to date with any plans or developments on your end, and hopefully they will do the same.
This back-and-forth communication can also offer you peace of mind that your suppliers aren’t about to go out of business and leave you scrambling for a replacement. As these first three points illustrate, transparency is key!
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4. Grow your social media and email marketing channels
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If your business has an online presence, now is the time to utilize it to its full potential. If your business doesn’t have an online presence…create one!
For businesses that offer products or services that can be sold online, e-commerce is the ideal avenue for getting your business up and running as quickly as possible. You can learn more aboutshifting to online here.
Of course, while not every business can sell its offering online, you can still market it online. Now is the time to ramp up your social media marketing, web content, email newsletters, and other targeted digital marketing strategies.
There is no shortage of creative ways that a business can engage audiences online, and if that sort of thing isn’t your strong suit,we can help with that too!
5. Cut down on unnecessary expenses and find creative ways to adapt
If you’re not already going through your budget to find things you can either tighten, put on hold or scrap altogether, now is the time to do so. It goes without saying that the last thing any business needs right now is to be pouring money into non-essential things.
Once everything is as streamlined as can be, you can begin to brainstorm innovative ways to adapt your business. Perhaps you can slightly alter your product offering to provide customers with something that can assist them in this time, or adjust your services to accommodate quarantines and self-isolation.
As an example, Stamp Me hasadapted our loyalty platform to cater for takeaway, home delivery and online ordering services. Perhaps this will help you get the ball rolling on some changes you can make in your own operations to facilitate ongoing business in this difficult time.
Communicate, adapt, and survive!
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The takeaway here is that by keeping everyone in the loop, making adjustments where possible and overcoming challenges with innovation, your business can bounce back to be stronger than ever.
Rather than see this as a time when your business is on hold, try to approach this situation as a moment to regroup, reorganize and re-engage!
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